R.I.P. Frank Delaney

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The literary world lost an important figure in late February. Frank Delaney, (October 29, 1942-February 21, 2017) the novelist and historian from Ireland, died at the age of 74. Delaney, who loved history and the writings of James Joyce, had a website, Frank Delaney’s site, in which he spoke of both literature and had podcasts, viewed by millions, about Joyce’s novel Ulysses.

Delaney, was also an accomplished novelist with a long list of books to his credit; among them are Ireland, A Novel, Shannon, Tipperary, and The Matchmaker of Kenmare. Delaney’s passing has impact on me because I have used his novel Ireland, A Novel in my Irish  Literature class at the Wescoe School of Muhlenberg College in Allentown, PA. The students, all of whom are adults, usually enjoy this brilliant work that incorporates both the history of Ireland with a well woven family saga. It is deeply informative and moving; Delaney speaks to the larger historical issues and events that make up Irish history as well as showing the deep connections of family and story-telling within the texts. If anyone has interest in Ireland, I recommend this book with my highest regards.

To Frank Delaney, I hope wherever you are that you have an audience to hear your wonderful tales! And may you Rest In Peace.

 

A Book Reading/Signing of Maledicus: The Investigative Paranormal Society Book I by Charles F. French at the Muhlenberg College ‘Berg Bookshop

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I am very happy to announce that the next reading/signing of my horror novel Maledicus: The Investigative Paranormal Society Book I will be Thursday 12/15/16 from Noon to 2 P.M. at the ‘Berg Bookshop at Muhlenberg College in Allentown, PA.

If you are in or near the Lehigh Valley, PA, please consider attending.  The campus of Muhlenberg College is beautiful, and the Valley is lovely, especially in the winter season.

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Maledicus: The Investigative Paranormal Society Book I by Charles F. French is available for purchase on Amazon either as an ebook or a print book!

Please follow the following links to find my novel:

ebook

Print book

Thank you!

The book trailer:

Maledicus:Investigative Paranormal Society Book I

My radio interview:

interview

A New Semester!

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Summer is close to ending, and autumn will soon be here, a wondrous season of change.  Among those movements are the leaving behind of summer activities and the return of the academic school year.  The first day of the semester at both schools where I teach, Lehigh University and Muhlenberg College, has arrived. I had a busy summer and taught summer classes, so this is not following on a long break, but I always am excited at the start of a new collegiate year.

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(https://commons.wikimedia.org)

I often write, in this blog, about writing, and that is my other passion, but teaching is still my main field, my main vocation, and my driving force in life. I love to teach, and this semester I have a wide variety of courses; among them are the following: First Year Composition, Renaissance Imagination, Gothic and Horror, and Modern American Fiction. These courses reflect some, but certainly not all, of my areas of study and interest.

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I always feel blessed that I am able to incorporate my love of reading into a field in which I lead discussions about this material. In fact, I am extraordinarily lucky, because I love my work, and I know there are far too many people who do not have this good fortune.

I also love that I have a wide range of students in my classes.  I teach both traditional-age students and non-traditional adult students.  As someone who was an adult student myself, a story for another post, I embrace having adults in my classes.

So, onward with the semester!

Quotations on the Importance of Education

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“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

                                                                                 Nelson Mandela

 

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“Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel.”

                                                                                  Socrates

 

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(https://commons.wikimedia.org)

“Education is education. We should learn everything and then choose which path to follow. Education is neither Eastern nor Western, it is human.”

                                                                                Malala Yousafzai

Quotations on Imagination

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“Logic will get you from A to Z; imagination will get you everywhere.”

                                                                Albert Einstein

 

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“Vision is the art of seeing things invisible.”

                                                                Jonathan Swift

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(Martin Droeshout Portrait)

“The lunatic, the lover and the poet,

Are of imagination all compact. . .

And as imagination bodies forth

The forms of things unknown, the poet’s pen

Turns them into shapes, and gives to airy nothing

A local habitation and a name.”

              William Shakespeare

                    A Midsummer Night’s Dream

                      (Act 5. Scene 1. lines 7-17)

 

February Progress

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With February having come to an end, I want to give a monthly progress report on my writing efforts. It was a very busy month for me with a full load of classes, so there was a great deal of teaching, planning, and grading.

My writing, however, is keeping on course. I have reached page 80 on the first draft of the second book of my young adult series, which means I should be able to complete the initial draft by the end of June. I am also progressing on revisions. I am close to finishing the 9th draft of my horror novel Evil Lives After, and I will then begin revisions on the 4th draft of the first book of my Young Adult series.

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I have also made several more submissions of Evil Lives After.

I will post an update in about one month.

 

 

R.I.P. Umberto Eco and Harper Lee

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The world lost two of its most important writers today, Friday February 19, 2016: Harper Lee and Umberto Eco.  I offer this small post in remembrance of their brilliance.

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https://en.wikipedia.org

Umberto Eco was a renowned professor of semiotics, the study of language and signs, as well as a best-selling novelist, and he died at the age of 84. He is probably best known outside of the academic world for his novel The Name of the Rose and the successful Hollywood film based on it, which  starred Sean Connery.  The book was, on the surface, a medieval murder mystery that was heavily influenced by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and his great detective Sherlock Holmes. It was also a multi-layered exploration of the medieval as well as the contemporary world. Eco incorporated a difficult series of puzzles and codes within the text by utilizing his knowledge of semiotics, and his labyrinthine library was based on the writing of Jorge Luis Borges.   The Name Of The Rose established Eco’s career as a novelist, which he followed up with books like Foucault’s Pendulum.   His writing entertains on  the surface and then challenges the reader to delve deeply into intellectual exploration of the world.

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https://ru.wikipedia.org

Harper Lee,  the novelist whose seminal work on racism and justice in America To Kill A Mockingbird, also died today.  She was 89 years old. Her book focused attention on racism and the lack of justice in southern small-town America as well as the attempt by her hero Atticus Finch to fight for the life of a black man accused of raping a young white woman. This book, and the enormously successful film based on her novel by the same name and starring Gregory Peck, a powerful adaptation, are both beloved and masterpieces of literature and film. In 2015, Lee released a book that can be seen as a sequel, prequel, or adaptation of To Kill a MockingbirdGo Set A Watchman.

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As a reader, I have loved their writings.  I have also used To Kill A Mockingbird and The Name Of The Rose in my college classes.  Both books presented challenges to my students as well as great rewards for the studying of them.

The world has lost two powerful and deeply important writers.

Rest in Peace: Harper Lee and Umberto Eco.